Migrants, including asylum claimants, may be detained for immigration purposes only in accordance with Home Office detention policy, as set out in the Detention General Instructions, and in accordance with the adults at risk in immigration detention policy. The detention decision must always be made on the basis of the individual’s particular circumstances and eligibility for detention. If at any time it is concluded that a particular detained individual’s ongoing detention would not be appropriate, the individual must be released, with bail conditions appropriate to their particular circumstances.
Most people detained under immigration powers spend only short periods in detention. In the year ending June 2022, data shows that the overwhelming majority of people (98%) who left detention were detained for less than 6 months, and 82% were detained for 28 days or less. The great majority of asylum claims are processed in the non-detained system, with claimants living in the community. Only a small minority of claimants are detained whilst their claim is considered.